Social Media Marketing for Healthcare Businesses

Brent Barnhart

May 5, 2019

Brent Barnhart

May 5, 2019


Watching your doctor’s Instagram Stories or hashtagging your latest surgery might seem a bit, well, odd.

The reality, though? Social media and healthcare go hand-in-hand.

Consider that a staggering 80% of people take to the web to research conditions, diagnoses and doctors.

And yeah, you better believe social media is part of the mix.  

From hospitals and dentists to cosmetic surgeons and beyond,  there’s a reason why medical professional are stepping up their digital marketing like never before.

But social media can be tricky for growing practices.

From minding your messaging to generating leads, medical businesses can’t afford to just “wing it.”

The truth, though? Social media for healthcare businesses doesn’t have to be brain surgery. In fact, it’s surprisingly similar to just about any other type of social marketing once you break it down.

Think about it. Your patients are your customers. You want them to come through your doors time and time again, not just for their business but also for their well-being.

Below we’ve highlighted how healthcare businesses can put together a social media strategy that makes sense.


What Should Healthcare Businesses Post, Anyway?

Fair question and a solid place to start! Healthcare marketers might feel like they’re at a standstill when it comes to their content strategies.

Don’t sweat it. Here are some ideas that apply to just about any medical practice.


Factoids and Educational Content

As noted, patients and prospects are on the hunt for education and answers.

Many healthcare professionals see it as their duty to make sure the public is well-informed. That’s why posts related to medical news, statistics and surprising facts are so effective. Such posts can prompt your patients to take action and likewise serve as a reminder that you’re looking out for their well-being.

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Show Off Your Team

Anything you can do to show your practice’s personality and warmth is a plus.

After all, not everyone looks forward to a doctor’s visit (including the rising number of Australian’s who suffer from “white coat syndrome”).

Highlighting the smiling faces and professionals behind your practice can help give patients some much-needed peace of mind. Likewise, it only takes a few seconds to snag a snapshot and publish it to Facebook or Instagram.


Show Off Your Patients, Too

User-generated content such as customer photos are awesome for marketing but can be somewhat complicated due to patient confidentiality laws.

Before you post anything regarding a patient to social media, make sure you have explicit permission and that your messaging is something positive. For example, many professionals use their patient photos to inspire or motivate their followers.

On a related note, customer photos via influencers are becoming increasingly popular among practices including dentists, dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons. If your social media healthcare produces “before and after” results, getting in touch with local micro-influencers is a smart move and a scalable way to show off your success stories.

Side note: use your best judgment when it comes to your healthcare business’ tone on social media. For example, cracking jokes or posting lighthearted content might be fair game for a cosmetic surgeon, but not always in good taste for a practice serving seriously ill patients.


Take Your Followers Behind-the-Scenes

If you think that people aren’t interested in the day-to-day happenings at a medical office, think again.

For example, Australia’s own Davin Lim has amassed over 300k YouTube subscribers and 50k Instagram followers who watch procedures from his dermatology practice.

YouTube, in particular, has become somewhat of a goldmine for very specific healthcare niches. For example, there’s Dr. Sandra Lee (aka “Dr. Pimple Popper”) with over 5 million rabid subscribers who are obsessed with gross-out content like blackhead removals. More recently, chiropractic adjustments have been all-the-rage.

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Weird, right? You’d be surprised at just how fascinated the public is about medical procedures in general: you can use that curiosity to your advantage with the right content.


How to Generate Healthcare Leads from Social Media

Now, the end-game of social media for healthcare businesses should be an influx of new and returning patients.

The good news? You can achieve both brilliantly, particular through the use of Facebook.

For example, you can run remarketing ads that reach your current followers or people who might have bounced from your practice’s website. Facebook themselves have highlighted a number of healthcare industry success stories to better illustrate how such ads could work for your business.

3. fb medical ad

Another benefit of Facebook is that you can laser-target demographics to squeeze more out of your budget.

For example, a cosmetic surgeon in Sydney who primarily works with women can hone down their ad-serving based on factors such as location, age and interests which mirror her target audience. The same rules apply to practices serving new parents or the elderly.

4. sydney location

The beauty of Facebook is that you can encourage bookings directly from the platform by placing a call-to-action button on your business page. This funnels your social traffic directly to an appointment or contact opt-in so people can get in touch ASAP.

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You can likewise use Facebook’s Messenger as an easy point-of-contact for patients and prospects. This is ideal for customers who might be nervous about getting on the phone or have simple questions.

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Better yet, we’re seeing chatbots being used in social media for healthcare businesses to put customer service on autopilot. These are useful for answering simple questions for patients at a moment’s notice to keep them from bouncing. Check out how bots such as Florence make it happen.

7. Florence chat

And of course, regularly posting content (articles, promotions, reminders) serves as a consistent push for your followers to book appointments.


Which Social Channels are Right for Healthcare Businesses?

There is no “right” answer to this, although Facebook is definitely the go-to platform for just about any local, brick-and-mortar business. Healthcare businesses are no exception.

Between Facebook’s awesome ad platform and the ability to engage local customers, it’s a no-brainer.

The platform likewise boasts the largest audience of any social network, especially among customers who aren’t Gen Z. Oh, and Facebook also allows for ratings and reviews which serve as awesome social proof for future patients.

Instagram has plenty of potential for specific healthcare niches. Again, it’s a prime platform if you have a practice that relies on forward-facing results. If nothing else, Instagram is ideal for showing off your team and publishing testimonials.

For healthcare businesses who want to highlight their professionalism, LinkedIn is a great place to put your expertise front-and-center. This includes highlighting your mission statement, industry research and connecting with fellow healthcare professionals.

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And lastly, there’s YouTube. With video marketing booming like never before, publishing some form of video content whether it be your practice in action or simple advice videos can be valuable. Solely for the sake of SEO, having a YouTube presence can help you rank for high-competition keywords related to your business  (for example, these YouTube videos are on the first page of Google for the query “Sydney cosmetic dentistry”).

9. sydney cosmetic dentistryAnd with that, we wrap up our guide!


Could Social Media Give Your Healthcare Business a Boost?

Chances are your prospects and patients have a medical question on their minds.

Why not be the helping hand that they need?

Promoting your healthcare business via social media is a surefire way to introduce your practice to new patients and nurture the ones that you already have.  If you’re interested in doing just that, feel free to contact Hello Social today to see how we can help get things rolling!


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